Independent IT consultants' report on database implementation
18 June 2012
Following issues with the implementation and associated costs of our database (iMIS), independent IT specialists TFX Consulting Ltd have reported on both the implementation project and the long-term suitability of the database for the College’s needs.
The TFX iMIS Report highlights inadequacies in the procurement process for the IT system, especially with regard to the drafting of the original brief.
The key recommendations of the Report are that we continue to work with the iMIS database in the immediate future ... but that a new partner is sought for ongoing support of the system.
The Report suggests that this led to differing expectations from the College and ASI, the company licensing and assisting with the implementation of the software, in terms of the detail and complexity of the project.
Although TFX believes the iMIS system to be suitable for the finance functionality required, it is critical of its ability to support some other RCVS data structures, and considers it is a poor fit for the complex registration and education functions of the College.
The Report writers note that we continue to fulfil our statutory duties in terms of fee collection and the maintenance of registration records.
The key recommendations of the Report are that we continue to work with the iMIS database in the immediate future, particularly with regard to core functions, but that a new partner is sought for ongoing support of the system.
Thereafter, the Report recommends that a plan is put in place to migrate away from the system over a period of two to three years, as part of a natural upgrade path for RCVS IT systems.
As part of this comprehensive IT design and change programme, where IT will enable, rather than lead change, TFX recommends that a detailed analysis exercise is required, with the objective of more completely defining the College’s complex requirements.
This is the second of two reports prepared by TFX; the first reviewed our technology more generally.
The Technology Report provided valuable advice in areas of network security, staged replacement of legacy hardware and a coherent software and licensing programme, with associated staff training.
The TFX iMIS Report can be downloaded from the 'Related documents' box on the right. The TFX Technology Report will not be published, as it concerns issues relating to security of our IT infrastructure.
“We are grateful to TFX Consulting, and Ben Murray in particular, for the depth and clarity of both of their reports. It has been very useful to have independent scrutiny of the iMIS project and our IT systems as a whole,” said President Jerry Davies, in an introduction to the Report.
“Lessons can be – and have been – learned. For example, new project management protocols have been introduced by the College, and the instigation of an Audit and Risk Committee has been agreed,” he added.
Council accepted the findings of the Report at its recent meeting, and the new Chief Executive and Secretary, Nick Stace, will consider how the recommendations are best implemented, when he takes up his post in September 2012.